Monday, April 24, 2006

BP MS150 Day 1

It’s hard to keep track of things when you’re on the bike for 10 hours over two days with 13,000 of your closest friends. Nevertheless, I captured this montage of observations about the 2006 BP MS150. Day 1:

Jessi S. (“Go Jessi”) Cannondale bit me near the beginning of the ride--sprocket marks on my calf. Either she caught me looking at that sexy Quintana Roo tri-rocket, or she knew that I was so hydrated that I was about to go “nature break” VERY soon. Luckily I scored a random port-o-potty at an outlying development before we came to blows.
Once you exit the city, you're on the Katy prairie, wind at your back, smooth highway, like riding with no chain! 20+ mph with no effort at all. The effort comes later.

After Belville, you hit your first hills of any consequence. At the same time you really began to work, the heat started to rise in what turned out to be a very warm weekend indeed. Maria Gratia and Coach T pounded the hydration sermons into me, so I managed nutrition and had no serious incidents. I did see the walking wounded however. Last year it probably would have included me.

Somewhere along the way, I heard the voice of Robo-Stu, saying, “We are so lucky for this heat and these hills. This is great training for Buffalo Springs Lake!” When I saw a very large, lean and muscular black man half-way up a large hill walking his bike and massaging his cramping quads, I elected not to repeat Robo’s encouragement.

Props to the farmer playing the fiddle in his bib overalls standing by his tractor next to the highway west of Belville. I kid you not. This is Texas after all.
Until Belville, I rode with the ubergreyhound, boyfriend to Maria Gratia, my trainer. Right after Belville I noticed my computer was not registering, so I stopped for a nanosecond to adjust the sensor and ubergreyhound was gone. I hauled a** for the next 90 minutes thinking he was just over the next rise, but he pulled off at a break point and I screamed right by.

Highlight of the trip: I met Ashton Turner. She’s the six-year-old I posted on here a few days ago--a genuine (pronounced Jen-yew-wine) celebrity. She was just as cute as advertised, but she was still shy and did not ring the Hello Kitty bell for me. Bummer.

Meeting Ashton was also what I call a “How the h*ll did you get here” moment. I saw Ashton perched on her Trek half-wheeler about 80 plus miles into the ride after (I thought) haulin’ a** over the hills to catch ubergreyhound. Either Ashton’s Dad is Quadzilla or they started an hour early in Katy rather than in the City. That’s my story anyway.

The quintessential “How did you get here” moment occurs near the end of a century ride when you come upon a morbidly obese, sedentary office worker atop a mountain bike with saggy suspension and knobby tires doing 7 mph as you struggle valiantly to maintain your heroic tempo at the end of the day. More power to them for going out and making changes, but your mind involuntarily inquires, “How the h*ll did you get here?” One theory is that they fall through worm holes in the space time continuum. How else could a large object traveling at 7 mph cover 80 miles in 4 hours.

On a related topic, the team sponsored by “The Scooter Store” seemed to have the higher than average BMI compared with other teams that I observed. I’m just sayin’ . . . In contrast, the “Men’s Wearhouse” team seemed to have a very high percentage of riders who went all out and shaved their legs for the event, . . . not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Notwithstanding the hills and the heat, my cadence and tempo were so much better this year. No bonking. No suffering. Better bike fit and fitter biker all added up to an awesomely fun, and for me a fast ride.

It is very satisfying to pick up the cell phone when your wife is calling just to leave you a message for whenever you happen to finish and be able to tell her, “Heck, I’ve been sitting here drinking beer for an hour and a half already.”

When you’re nearly 40, it is also very satisfying to have a 26-year-old single gal, your personal trainer, yell out your name at the finish, shortly followed by the word “AWESOME!” (You girls hold all the power over us.)

My watts were epic, and my amps and volts and millibars were nuthin’ to sneeze at either. I don’t have exact figures because of the bike computer malfunctions, but I cut more than an hour off my elapsed time from last year and did the 99.5 miles on the first day in about 5:30 on the bike. Average HR: 136. I know Bold can’t stand a bike post without a chart, so I used my highest tech gear to chart my performance. Here is my chart from the first day.

Stay Tuned for Day 2 where we learn the meaning of “WWIBD”


Flatman said...

Awesome! Sounds like a great ride... Can't wait for part two!

Iron Pol said...

I had to stop by, because I believe you are my blog-twin. I'll have to find and post the exact picture, but when I saw your profile picture, I swore you stole it from one of my race pictures.

Bolder said...

i'm thinking...

we need a chart intervention here.

Lisa said...

Wow! Sounds like quite the ride! That's awesome!

Thanks for stopping by my blog with such great words to remind me that being slow is better than not being out there at all. I could have given up on my foot. But I didn't. Thank you. :)

Comm's said...

I really want to do a 150 or double century this summer.